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Bowel Cancer Screening service

A national programme for bowel cancer screening was introduced in 2006. The Bowel Cancer Screening Centre went live in June 2009, serving the Exeter, Mid, East and North Devon population and operates from two sites:

ÔÇó╠řRoyal Devon and Exeter Wonford Hospital
ÔÇó╠řNorth Devon District Hospital

The national programme aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage, when treatment is more likely to be effective. Bowel cancer screening can also detect polyps. These are not cancers, but may develop into cancers over time and can be removed easily, reducing the risk of bowel cancer developing.

Why is screening important?

  • 1 in 15 men and 1 in 18 women in the UK will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime
  • It is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, and the second biggest cancer killer - over 16,000 people die each year (Cancer Research UK 2019 statistics)
  • Regular bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16% (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2006)

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Information and about us

Screening is available to men and women aged 60 to 74, who are registered with a GP. Anybody above the age of 74 can choose to 'opt in'. An invitation will be sent to subjects, followed by their Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) which they will do in the privacy of their own homes.Bowel Cancer Screening FIT test

The FIT, pictured on the right, is designed to detect tiny amounts of blood invisible to the human eye which can be the indication for polyps and bowel cancer.

If an abnormal result is detected, you will be invited to attend a clinic appointment where a specialist screening practitioner will assess your health and suitability for an investigation. This could be one of two types:

  • Colonoscopy
  • CT virtual colonoscopy (CT pneumocolon)

The FIT does not diagnose bowel cancer and there are a number of bowel abnormalities which can cause bleeding, some of these include: polyps, diverticulitis, haemorrhoids, anal fissures, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

Contact us

Call the helpline on 01392 404645 or email╠řrduh.BCS@nhs.net, Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm.

You can also contact members of the team on the numbers listed below:

Contact the Northern services team at North Devon District Hospital via Switchboard and request the Bowel Cancer Screening service.

Contact the Eastern services team at the Royal Devon and Exeter Wonford Hospital on 01392 406925.

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Where to find us

Northern Services

North Devon District Hospital╠ř

North Devon District Hospital

Raleigh Park

Barnstaple

Devon

EX31 4JB

Your healthcare professional will advise where your appointment will take place. Your appointment may take place at one of our outpatient clinics situated within our main hospital sites or within the community.

Eastern services

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford)╠ř

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

Barrack Road

Exeter

EX2 5DW

Endoscopy: Level 2, Area N

Okement Ward: Level 2, Area F

Clinics: Level 1, Area D

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Meet the team

The team consists of a programme manager and two lead administrators, a lead nurse and seven full/part-time specialist screening practitioners.

Northern services

  • Dr Alex Milson╠řLead Radiologist
  • Dr Nick Ward╠řLead Pathologist
  • Amanda Disney╠řSpecialist Screening Practitioner

Eastern services

  • Dr Tarek Shirazi╠řGastroenterologist, Accredited Bowel Screening Colonoscopist
  • Dr Chris Calvert Gastroenterologist, Accredited Bowel Screening Colonoscopist
  • Dr Alastair Cairns Gastroenterologist, Accredited Bowel Screening Colonoscopist
  • Dr Simon Harries╠řLead Radiologist
  • Dr Tanwen Wright╠řLead Pathologist
  • Margaret Parle╠řLead Nurse
  • Cindy Collier╠řSpecialist Screening Practitioner
  • Isabella Amstici╠řSpecialist Screening Practitioner
  • Cristiano Tocca╠řSpecialist Screening Practitioner
  • Katherine Curley╠řSpecialist Screening Practitioner
  • Janet Gayton╠řSpecialist Screening Practitioner
  • Rebecca Luckie╠řSpecialist Screening Practitioner
  • Sharon Moraes╠řProgramme Manager
  • Louise Lowe╠řLead Screening Administrator
  • Laura Loman╠řLead Screening Administrator

Services and treatments

Following a positive FIT, you will be invited to meet with a specialist nurse to discuss your FIT result and to complete a health assessment to ascertain fitness for a colonoscopy or CT colonoscopy. A specialist nurse follows you through the bowel cancer screening service and is with you when you have your colonoscopy, followed up with a courtesy call to ensure you have recovered well.

The specialist nurse will inform you of your result. If nothing is found, then you will receive a FIT every two years until your 75th birthday. Any person that has polyps, depending on the type and amount, may be offered surveillance. Any person found to have a cancer will be discussed at a multi-disciplinary meeting and will be handed over to the hospital symptomatic service for any treatment that is required.

Patient information leaflets

We produce a wide range of leaflets which provide information about our services and about the treatment you might receive in our clinics or during your stay in hospital.╠ř

We also produce these in different formats including large print, please contact the department you are visiting for more information.

Find out more

Last updated: March 01, 2023

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